The Politics of Iranian Cinema
Film and Society in the Islamic Republic
Routledge – 2010 – 208 pages
Series: Iranian Studies
Iran has undergone considerable social upheaval since the revolution and this has been reflected in its cinema. Drawing on first-hand interviews and detailed ethnographic research, this book explores how cinema is engaged in the dynamics of social change in contemporary Iran. The author not only discusses the practices of regulation and reception of films from major award winning directors but also important mainstream filmmakers such as Hatamikia and Tabizi.
Contributing to ethnographic accounts of Iranian governance in the field of culture, the book reveals the complex behind-the-scenes negotiations between filmmakers and the authorities which constitute a major part of the workings of film censorship. The author traces the relationship of Iranian cinema to recent social/political movements in Iran, namely reformism and women’s movement, and shows how international acclaim has been instrumental in filmmakers’ engagement with matters of political importance in Iran.
This book will be a valuable tool for courses on film and media studies, and will provide a significant insight into Iranian cultural politics for students of cultural studies and anthropology, Middle Eastern and Iranian studies.
"This book is thoughtful, well researched, and clearly organized. It is a balanced contribution to our present knowledge of Iranian politics, state censorship, and idealogical disctates upon cinema today… This book would be beneficial to anyone interested in Iranian cinema and politics." - Jaleh Pirnazar, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California; Int. J. Middle East Studies 43 (2011)
1. Introduction 2. State Control of Iranian Cinema: The Shifting 'red lines' 3. Social films 4. Women’s films 5. Transnational Circulation and National Perceptions: Art Films in the Iranian Context 6. Conclusion
Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad completed his PhD in Media Studies in 2006 at SOAS, University of London. He currently teaches at the Centre for Media and Film Studies at SOAS and at the Institute of Ismaili Studies.